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Rev. Fraser Metzger: Progressive Party of Vermont Collection

 Collection
Identifier: mss-120

Scope and Content

The Reverend Metzger Papers contain materials relating to the National Progressive Party of Vermont and Metzger's gubernatorial candidature in 1912. The campaign literature contains some fascinating reprints of speeches, propoganda, and a humerous piece, "The Biggest Moose Ever Seen." The National Progressive Party of Vermont campaign literature collection contains some important information on the earlier Vermont Progressive Republican League, including statements of purpose and petitions. Of special note is the material on Joseph DeBoer, unsuccessful candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1912, and Metzger's speech which presents a lively synopsis of the national issues. The Vermont Republican Party Platform makes a few concessions to the Progressives, but makes few commitments. Taft is not once mentioned. The folder of correspendence with Charles Thompson, State Committeeman, is of value in pointing out the difficulties and high peaks of the campaign. Emphasis is heavy on Metzger's schedule after his September 3rd election defeat. Other correspondents is of topical interest. Metzger's campaign style and personality are revealed in many of his letters to colleagues and friends. Correspondence is arranged chronlogically. For Voting Statistics see Vermont Legislative Directory, 1912.

Dates

  • 1912

Creator

Access:

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights:

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Biography

Fraser Metzer was born in Gloverstown, N.Y., in 1872. He earned the D.D. degree from Defiance College in 1895, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1902 upon graduation from Union College. Metzger bean his career in Vermont as Pastor of the Christian Church of Randolph. Later the Christian and Congregational Churches were joined into Bethany Church. Considered a dynamic leader, Metzger's influence saw the construction of a new parish house including a gymnasium, bowling alley, and billard room, as well as facilities for dining. He also helped to organize a Randolph hospital. Through the InterChurch Federation, Metzger worked for improved working conditions for women and children, modernizaiton of farms, and educational improvement. He attended the Second Vermont Congressional District Nominating Convention in April 1912 as a Roosevelt supporter.

The Vermont Republican Party was weak, without leadership and unwilling to adopt general reforms. In May the Vermont Republican League was formed, and this body sent delegates to the State Republican Convention in support of Joseph DeBoer for Govenor. However, Allen Fletcher, a "Regular Republican," was nominated. In response to this the National Progressive Party of Vermont was formed, largely through the efforts of Wallace Batchelder and Charles H. Thompson who had urged that the Progressive League merge with the new group.

In late July Metzger accepted the Progressive Party's nomination for Govenor, and he commenced campaigning on August 5th. His campaign style was enthusiastic and passionate. Convincing Roosevelt supporters to back the state ticket was a continual problem throughout the campaign. The Republicans won the September 3rd election, but the Progressive strength (25%) prevented the GOP from receiving a majority. The election went to the legislature where it was decided along party lines, and Fletcher was chosen. Metzger continued to campaign for Theodore Roosevelt, and was a frequent speaker in New Hampshire and Maine as well as Vermont.

In 1917, Metzger was elected to the Vermont Legislature from Randolph, and served one term. In 1921 he received an honoray Doctor of Divinity form Middlebury College. Shortly after this he left the state to become the Dean of Men at Rutgers University where he served for twenty years. From 1945 until his death in 1954, Metzger was Pastor of the First Congregational Church in South Windsor, Connnecticut.

Extent

0.4 Linear Feet (One box)

Overview

The Reverend Metzger Papers contain materials relating to the National Progressive Party of Vermont and Metzger's gubernatorial candidature in 1912.

Physical Location

Library Research Annex; contact uvmsc@uvm.edu for access.
Title
Inventory of the Rev. Fraser Metzger: Progressive Party of Vermont Collection, June-Nov.,1912
Status
Completed
Date
1998
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)